*Dearest Poemies, I have just made a discovery. I found a whole slew of your WONDERFUL comments, under my feedback section. I guess that the contact form I’ve been adding to the bottom of these posts is just for private feedback, and your comments there will not show up as posts on the poems themselves. Because I don’t really have a clue how to use this site, I can’t figure out how to move them to the comments section. But, I have figured out that if I stop adding the feedback form, a regular comment form will appear at the end of the posts, and that should work. PLEASE, know that I really, really appreciate all the kind words you have given me so far, that they fed my soul, and that I need them. Thank you. Love, Anna
I have a slumber party in our play-loft with two fairy-girls tonight, so I need to get this done early. I’ve grown accustomed to my late night poeming, though, and it is hard to change my habits. Work space is important. Someone (Steinbeck?) wrote on a hard wooden chair, at a desk, with nothing else in the room. A colleague of mine in college once covered his desk with fuzzy green carpet. I forget why, but he said it helped. Lately I’ve been working in our back room, because my office is under construction. It’s always freezing back there, so I keep a heavy woolen blanket on my lap. Usually I have some kind of sparkly beverage with me. La Croix sparkling water, recently. Mishkin the Terrible keeps me company with his chew toy. My computer is set to Mountain Standard Time, even though I live in Pacific Time, so that when I start to panic at the hour, I get a great moment of Phew.
How do you work? What is necessary for you to enter flow? Does the room need to be a certain temperature? Do you need to do yoga first? Have you invented a lap-belt for your office chair to keep yer butt in the seat? (note: make this). I want to know how you court the Muse, that fickle mistress.
I have been avoiding some things in my poetry and like I said at once some point during the last three weeks, that must stop. My goal is to say what is true, and I won’t get there by writing about pretty childhood memories or universal moments like slipping on the ice. Big feels, though, like grief over losing an organ, or the crumbling relationship between me and a family member, or various other demons (see? I’m a huge wimp. Can’t even put a name to them yet), are harder to get into the jar. It takes more time than I’ve been allowing myself on weeknights to trap them, to feed them grass and sticks, to poke holes in the lids (apparently my demons are also caterpillars…forgive my cheese, please). So, this weekend I vow to trap a Huge Feely, and to do it properly. Truth, no matter what, no matter how scared shitless I am.
Maybe I’ve mentioned that I have a great job in between explaining how tired it makes me. If I haven’t, my job is great. One of the not-so-great things about working at a coed boarding school, though, is its coed-ness. And its teenoply. They want to make out with each other, all the time, and they aren’t supposed to, for obvious reasons. I have a hard time faulting them for this, in part because who doesn’t want to be making out all the time, and partly because it’s just so darned precious. Today in class I noticed a girl and a boy sitting across from one another at a desk, slowly, in the tiniest increments, inching their socked feet toward one another. The students at our school wear only socks or slippers indoors. What was remarkable was the absolute calm in their faces as they moved their feet in the tinest breaths, first closer and closer, until finally, after about twenty minutes, the sides of their feet were touching! I went on teaching Edwidge Danticat’s novel about the Parsley Massacre, The Farming of Bones, but I was distracted by their feet (isn’t there a Seinfeld episode about making out during Schindler’s List? Footsie during El Corte = Kind of the same). I had until I gave them homework time at the end of class before the footsie began in earnest. I don’t remember playing footsie, but I sure did make out in the hallways, much to the chagrin of my parents who worked there. I vaguely recall holding hands with a boy, both hands in a mitten, at a homecoming football game, though.
Anyhow, inspired as I often am, by my students, here:
Wild things don’t glance around the forest before necking. No creatures in spring need ask permission.
In antelope the season of consuming desire passes with the snowfall, but our human animals are in rut forever.
But it dulls slightly with use, like a knife, and the the elders, gifted in the frontal cortex but slow to recall, have forgotten what it is like to puddle at the mere mention of a
Absolutely crushed with the weight of wanting. Wanting to be absorbed into that human through the hand you are holding,
to live in the cells of the new beast with whom you grasp.
A heady tingle that erases all thought but the thought of touch, the mere brush of a foot, against the foot of this alien sitting by,
is enough to last a lifetime.
Because lifetimes become minutes in the honeysuckle days of our blooming, and our brushing caresses become the only ambition.
The elk of heavier crowns don’t dismiss the yearlings in their quest, but give them the best territory for finding
that tawny nuzzle.
Blessed are those slaves to the wild oblivion of new desire, and shame on us, the ancient ones, who call it youthful folly.
Perhaps the animals inside are jealous.
So, I didn’t get this done early at all. It is very, very late. I had to wake up from the slumber party to come do it. My brain is a fruit smoothie. But, I’d like to reiterate what I wrote at the top of the post. I love you, poemies, and I thank you for your kind words. They are precious to me. Yeah, and I say that like Golem. Happy Thursday!